Pregnancy is a time of many changes, both physical and emotional, for almost all women. Some women find that they are more anxious or depressed during pregnancy. This can be especially true for women who have had anxiety or depression in the past, have had a prior pregnancy loss, who are going through a high-risk pregnancy or in a stressful time with relationships, finances or work. If you feel you are seriously depressed or anxious, please tell your health care provider.
The following are suggestions that have helped other women with depression and anxiety during pregnancy:
- Read You, Your Baby, and US. Pay particular attention to the sections on normal changes during pregnancy and common discomforts (and what to do about them).
- Attend childbirth classes and infant care classes.
- Start planning for the postpartum period now. Identify your positive support people and ask them to plan to help once the baby is here. Give them specific and practical jobs to do.
- Plan to join a new mother’s support group. If you plan to breastfeed, this can be a breastfeeding mom’s support group.
- Remember to take good care of yourself, physically and emotionally. The single most important thing you can do for your baby is to be healthy.
- Identify the positive and helpful people around you. This can be your partner, a family member, a friend or your health care providers. Talking things over with a person you trust can be a very helpful way to deal with stress. They can also help you decide if you should get professional help.
Contact your doctor office if you have any concerns.